A Womanistic Viewpoint of Alice Walker’s The Third Life of Grange Copeland

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Dr. E. Anita


Womanism focuses both on the plight and perseverance of 'woman of color' as it stems from the word 'woman'. The word first appeared in In Search of Our Mother's Garden by Alice Walker. The need for this word came from the early feminist movements, led in particular by white middle-class women who supported social reforms for women, as well as those movements that concentrated on problems primarily based on sexual inequality. Walker implements her idea in her first novel The Third Life of Grange Copeland that black women's liberation is not feasible until black women come forward to do a self-analysis and then self-realization to claim them self and be inside and outside the group. Although The Third Life of Grange Copeland is the story of Grange Copeland's title character, it also chronicles black women's desperate, thwarted, and resistant lives. The novel traces the three lives of the protagonist Copeland, or three stages in his life in which the third life is the most significant. Not only in Copeland but also in the woman characters who pass through three generations, the change is seen. Margaret, Mem, and Ruth's attempts and actions are to assert themselves and to ensure that they are in the community and then in society. Self-content is Margaret's attempt at self-declaration. The efforts of Mem are further applied to her household. In the third generation, Ruth is assured of self-realization and declaration from the entire black community, supplied with ample probabilities. This development, while gradual, is the redeeming aspect of the novel by Alice Walker.          

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